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To: Minster Norma Foley and Minister Josepha Madigan

Petition for Inclusive Education and Equal Access for Deafblind Children in Ireland

We, the undersigned, are writing to bring attention to a critical issue concerning the education and well-being of deafblind children in our society. Deafblindness is a unique disability that affects individuals in profound ways, particularly in communication, adaptation of teaching methods, and the need for specialized materials. We urge you, as representatives of the Ministry of Education, to take immediate action to ensure inclusive education for deafblind children and guarantee their equal access to education, early intervention services, and tailored support.

Why is this important?

Who is affected?
Deafblind children, their families, and the broader community are concretely affected by the existing barriers to inclusive education. The current lack of specialized services and resources denies these children the opportunity to fully participate in educational settings. As a result, they are often isolated, unable to communicate effectively, and face significant challenges in acquiring the necessary skills to thrive academically, socially, and emotionally.
What is at stake?
The consequences of maintaining the status quo are far-reaching and deeply impactful. Without inclusive education and tailored support, deafblind children risk being left behind, depriving them of a quality education and limiting their future opportunities. By neglecting their needs, we deny them the chance to develop their talents, contribute to society, and lead independent and fulfilling lives. Additionally, the lack of equal access to education perpetuates social inequality and discrimination, further marginalizing an already vulnerable group.
Why is now the time to act?
Immediate action is imperative as every passing day without intervention exacerbates the challenges faced by deafblind children. The critical developmental stages during early childhood necessitate early intervention services that foster communication skills, sensory development, and social interaction. By addressing these needs promptly, we can enable deafblind children to reach their full potential, unlocking a brighter future for them and empowering them to become active, engaged members of society.
We firmly believe that every child, regardless of their abilities, has the right to an inclusive education and equal access to educational resources and services. Therefore, we respectfully request that you consider the following measures:

Develop comprehensive guidelines and policies that ensure inclusive education for deafblind children at all levels of the education system.
Allocate sufficient resources to provide specialized training for teachers and educational professionals to effectively support deafblind children.
Establish early intervention programs that focus on the unique needs of deafblind children, providing appropriate services and support from an early age.
Collaborate with relevant stakeholders, including organizations specializing in deafblind education, to develop and implement best practices for inclusive education and support services.
Raise awareness among the broader public about the rights and needs of deafblind children, fostering a more inclusive and accepting society.
We urge you to take immediate action to address the pressing issue of inclusive education and equal access for deafblind children. By doing so, you will contribute to a more inclusive society where every child can thrive and fulfil their potential.

We kindly request a meeting with you to discuss our concerns in more detail and explore collaborative solutions. We are confident that by working together, we can bring about meaningful change and ensure a brighter future for deafblind children.

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2023-07-04 14:57:48 +0100

10 signatures reached